This water feature is also called a “disappearing” waterfall because the water just flows into the ground at the bottom. In most cases, the water flows through a bed of decorative gravel or pebbles that covers a hidden reservoir or tank.
Of course, a pondless waterfall does not allow you to raise fish, and planting possibilities are limited to flora along the side. But there are definite advantages:
• It takes up minimal space. You may choose to include several stream segments and falls, but in a small space you could simply have one or two short falls with a short stream.
• It’s easy to maintain. You don’t have to worry about taking care of plants and fish, and there are few places where leaves and other debris can collect.
• You don’t have to worry about small children or pets falling into a pond.
• It uses a minimal amount of water.
• You can turn it off when not using it.
To install a pondless waterfall, you will need to excavate for the stream, cut and lay a flexible liner, and position stones for the waterfall. You’ll also need a submersible pump (with filter) of sufficient strength to send water to the top of the fall and a length of hose to reach the top.
To construct the underground reservoir, also called a cobblestone or gravel reservoir, dig a hole and set into it a plastic bucket or garbage pail. In the bucket, position the pump, and run the electrical line and tubing. Cover the bucket with wire mesh, and place gravel or pebbles on top. Or, purchase a special reservoir made for a pondless waterfall, set it into a hole, install the pump and hose, and cover with stones.
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